Kipp On Traveling….

In October, 2019, we headed to Europe for a 4 week trip.  There was only one basic goal:  to go someplace completely different and see what it would be like to just “live.”  Slovenia and Croatia were chosen primarily because we had been on a tour of Croatia 4 years before, so we could just do nothing there since we had already seen many of the major tourist sites.

David wanted to go to Slovenia, having traveled through there in 1973 when it was still part of Yugoslavia. We decided to split the month between Croatia & Slovenia. I had never been to Venice, though we have traveled extensively through Italy over the past 27 years.  Since they are so close, we flew to Venice first and used that as our springboard to Slovenia which is right next door.

Italy had been our favorite European destination since 1993 when we first visited Italy together to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. But we found Croatia to be every bit as warm and inviting as Italy.   Croatia offers the same Mediterranean climate, cuisine and fascinating Roman ruins.   And we found Slovenia to be similar.



Beautiful Gondolas on the Grand Canal

Venice is otherworldly. There’s not another place in the world like it.  It is the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region and is built on  more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea.  It has no roads,  just canals – including the grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. Our small well positioned pensione was recommended in a Rick Steves guide book. He’s been our travel guru for many years. He always advises staying as close to the attractions as possible, to get the true ambiance and not waste your valuable time getting between sites.  Some of our highlights were Piazza San Marco / Saint Mark’s Square and the Doges Palace, where we used our pre-purchased online tickets to walk right in to the Palace, skipping the long waiting lines to purchase tickets. There we saw the largest oil painting in the world, walked thru the bridge of sighs and took too many photos. The architecture.. Ah…. the architecture.. It’s so hard NOT to take too many photos in Europe. We of course enjoyed some fabulous pizza, seafood and lovely wines while there. The fried sardines with pickled onion.. well, they were interesting. One night we dined at Timon all’ Antica Mola and arrived in time for appetizers and 1/2 liters of the house Cabernet/Merlot blend before our delicious dinner. Just walking the city was an adventure, through the narrow streets, beautiful old buildings and canals and bridges everywhere, not sure what we would find at the next turn.  The views were always photo worthy.


David in beautiful St. Mark’s Square


The scenic Grand Canal of Venice. We were fortunate to visit a few weeks prior to the flood of 2019.


Beautiful Venetian hand made masks are a centuries old tradition of Venice. The masks are typically worn during the Carnival of Venice.


Sharon embarking on a Gondola ride – a must do when visiting Venice.



From Venice we headed to laid-back Ljubljana, Slovenia for a 6 night say via OptiGo Van.  The van dropped us at the bus station and we walked 1.5 miles through the newer part of the city to our apartment in “Old Town.”  Our apartment was located on Stari Trg (Old Square), a charming street with restaurants, coffee shops, daily fresh market etc.  Living the “cafe life”… just lingering at our restaurant table with our backgammon and a good glass of beer or wine after lunch or dinner was a goal that we certainly accomplished.   All our meals were tasty and reasonably priced.  They ranged from pasta and pizza to fresh fish, rump steak and veal, with local wines and beers.  We enjoyed all the food we tried, but really got hooked on the thin crust pizza with tomato sauce, prosciutto, mozzarella, loads of fresh arugula on top, then drizzled with olive oil.

Slovenia is smaller than the U. S. state of New Jersey.  And although Ljubljana is the capital city, it’s small.  In the whole city there are only about 270,000 people.  We stayed in the “Old Town”, clustered around a castle-topped mountain.  You could stroll the riverside promenade, explore interesting boutiques, wander through the riverside produce market, and sip coffee at sidewalk cafe’s along the river.  Ljubljana is an historic city with inhabitants dating back to the Neolithic and Bronze ages.  It was once a trade route connecting the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.  Ljubljana became the capital of one of Europe’s youngest nations in 1991.


The Ljubljana River bisects the city center from the Old Town

It is a lovely city boasting wonderful architecture, including Austrian Baroque and Viennese Art Nouveau, but with a Mediterranean flair.  The Ljubljianica River bisects the city, dividing the Old Town from the city Center.  To get back and forth there are 3 famous bridges known as the Cobblers, Butcher’s and the Dragon Bridges. The later was inspired by the legend that Jason and the Argonauts founded the city after slaying a dragon in a nearby marsh!

Many European cities were built on hills, with walled castles or walled cities on top.  The location and walls were designed to help prevent invasions.  Most of these cities have “Old Towns”, the historic or original core of the city on top, with the newer part of the city expanding below.  In Ljubljana, you can either walk or take the funicular to the mountain top Ljubljana Castle overlooking the city.  We chose to take the funicular up and walk down.  While there we enjoyed a 360 degree view of the whole city of Ljubljana and the snow capped mountains of the Julian Alps in the distance.  On the grounds we also saw an art exhibit about the atrocities of lithium mining in Bolivia.  I had no idea! 

Most mornings we had breakfast of fresh yogurt and muesli in our apartment while reading The Tennessean Newspaper online, then took a short walk down the street to one of the coffee shops along the river by the vegetable and flower market.  We even sat under the cover of a large umbrella while it softly rained one day, just enjoying the coffee and people watching.  It was not unusual to see a local senior citizen, dressed in their finest, having an espresso followed by a tall beer around 10 am.  Sometimes we wandered through the open air market and bought fresh fruit and roasted nuts.  The peaches we bought were some of the tastiest I have ever had!  One morning at our “coffee break” we were entertained by bees in our sugar container and a group of Hari Krishna devotees singing and dancing thru the streets. 

A must do day trip from Ljubljana is Lake Bled (sounds like blade). We barely made the departing bus… running for several blocks to catch it (another reason to wear good walking shoes)! The Slovenian countryside is beautiful with small manicured villages and lots of urban gardens so beautifully arranged and maintained.  Upon our arrival to Lake Bled, we stopped in the Grand Hotel Toplice for cappuccino & Kremna Rezina (the famous creme cake). 


After our caffeine and sugar intake we were ready for the hike around the lake.  It is a scenic lake located in the city of Bled and surrounded by mountains and forests in the Julian Alps in northwestern Slovenia.  The  3.5 mile hike around the lake provides lovely views of the mountains and the picturesque historic church on the island in the lake.


Lake Bled with an island in the middle, a castle nearby and the Julian Alps in the distance.

Another must do day trip is to one of the famous Slovenian caves.  Slovenia is known to have some of the largest caves in the world and the Postojna Cave is the second longest cave system in Slovenia at 79,130 ft.  It was created by the Pivka River.  Graffiti inside indicates the cave was used long before the 1200’s.  During World War l Russian prisoners of war were forced to construct a bridge across a large chasm inside the cave.  During World War ll, German occupying forces used the cave to store nearly 1,000 barrels of aircraft fuel, which were destroyed in April 1944 by Slovene Partisans.  The fire burned for seven days destroying a large section of the cave and blackening the entrance, which is still visible today.  You enter the cave via train, then disembark and walk thru some amazing formations and rooms such as the Spaghetti room and the Red Room, the White Room and the Large Hall.  It was definitely a World Class Experience. On our bus ride back to Ljubljana, I listened to some Rick Steves audio guides I had downloaded on my phone and learned about the Open Kitchen Event that was actually happening that night!

The Open Kitchen Event at the Central Market was fantastic!  The food was presented from some of the best restaurants and chefs all over Slovenia.  First we tried some Slovenian fried chicken, then Egyptian chicken Taouk.  The Taouk was absolutely one of the tastiest dishes I have ever experienced.. I’m still searching for a recipe!   AT this point we were stuffed, but happened by a booth selling ribs cooked with a Jack Daniels sauce.  Well, since Jack Daniels hails from Tennessee, as do we, we felt like we just had to stop and introduce ourselves to the cook. He GAVE us a rib dinner and wanted our opinion.  He also told us that a representative from Jack Daniels had visited last week when they were in a different city and told them this BBQ sauce using Jack Daniels was the best ever.  I will say, honestly, it was GREAT!


Jack Daniels BBA Omaka from Stari Pisker

One thing we noticed in Slovenia was that most of the women were very attractive.    I don’t think I’ve seen a larger concentration of attractive women in one place in my life.   They also seemed very style conscious, which of course you’ll find all over Europe. It is so refreshing not to see people walking around in pajama pants or pants hanging below underwear, etc., like we constantly see in the U.S.  David and I always try to dress appropriately and fit in when traveling so that we don’t look like the “ugly American tourists” we have run into all over the world.  We have even been complimented by customs officials when re-entering the U.S.!

Some of the styles I particularly noticed over and over were:

    • Skin tight jeans (white, black and all blues)
    • Frayed / unhemed jeans
    • Platform athletic shoes, booties and knee high boots and sleek loafers
    • Short leather jackets paired with high waisted pants
    • Puffy jackets, vests and coats
    • Midi skirts and dresses
    • Long wool sweaters/ dusters
    • Big sunglasses & big scarves
    • Unhemmed felted wool coats and jackets
    • Backpacks of all sorts, but especially Herschel & Fjallraven
    • Leopard print everything

On our last day in Ljubljana, we enjoyed our usual coffee spot on the colonnade by the Central Market.  Then we went for our daily stroll about town and happened upon some live entertainment, police on horseback in regalia, traditional Slovenian Polka band, a jazz band, etc… all very entertaining.   Even though we had eaten a late lunch of our new favorite pizza and a salad at Ljublianski Dvor  early that afternoon, we decided to go back there for one last meal before packing up to depart for Croatia the next day. We enjoyed a caprese salad and a pasta dish with thin home made pasta, & pancetta in a cream sauce.  Slastno!  On our way back through Preseren Square, the lively center of the city, we happened upon an open air cafe/ bar where a group of about 30 people were singing an acapella medley.  As we paused to listen we heard them singing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen in English… with gusto… and they did a hair dance at the end.   

They were fantastic!  All the people around the square joined in.  What a fun surprise on our last night!  And, of course, after walking around the beautiful city at night, we had to have a night cap of gelato with chocolate & caramel sauces and salty peanuts on top.  Mama Mia.. this is a great city.. We would definitely go back to Ljubljana, Slovenia!


Our Croatia visit was comprised of a 2 week stay in Zadar sandwiched between short re-visits of both Opatija and Zagreb.  The GoOpti driver picked us up a couple of blocks from our apartment in Ljublijiana and we rode with another American couple to a car switch in Postonja.  Our 2nd driver took us directly to our hotel in Opatija.  Having a private driver was nice and this afforded David the opportunity to see the countryside since he wasn’t focused on driving. 

Our hotel room in the Remisens Premium Hotel Kvarner was on the 2nd floor with a balcony overlooking the hotel grounds, pool, terrace, and wonderful views of the Adriatic.  Our room was beautifully appointed and offered a comfortable king sized bed with lots of squishy pillows :). This was a welcome treat, as our bed in the apartment in Ljubljana was comfortable, but on a low to the floor wooden platform that I repeatedly hit my shin on.


Beautiful night sky over the Adriatric from our balcony.

Re-visiting places that we truly enjoyed in the past gives us the opportunity to be relaxed and not feel like we have to see and do everything.  We also love testing our memory on locations of our favorite restaurants and points of interest from our previous visits.  After settling in our room, we walked to the city center (just a couple blocks away) and purchased some local Cabernet Sauvignon and beers and snacks to have on hand while we enjoyed playing backgammon on the balcony.   We usually take backgammon with us on our travels and have only lost one game over the last 36 years:). We researched restaurants online and located the one we had enjoyed 4 years ago, then had the hotel make a dinner reservation for us that night at Ruzmarin.  It was still such a popular place, by locals and tourists, that you must have a reservation to dine there.  Our first night we enjoyed shrimp bruschetta, mixed green salad, very thinly sliced rumpsteak, and boiled potatoes with arugula (a staple dish in this part of the world) and 2 glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon.  All this for 382 kunas – approximately $62!  We also dined at Ruzmarin the next night, enjoying the best Beef Carpacio we’ve ever tasted!

The Kvarner has a wonderful spa, so we took advantage of a free visit to the sauna and steam baths.  One of the reasons we came back to this hotel was for the most amazing breakfast buffet we’ve ever experienced, complete with champagne and cappuccino.  Opatija was a renowned fashionable resort in the 19th century, dotted with Habsburg-era villas facing the ocean.  The city is known for it’s clean air free from harmful allergens, smog or industrial dust, along with it’s locally – conditioned wind system, believed to be beneficial to all those who suffer from breathing difficulties. 


Lovely Opatija

After our visit in Opatija we took a bus to Zadar, which took about 5 hours.  We enjoyed the scenery, read, and ate our picnic lunch enroute.  This was much better than driving since the highway hugged the coastline the entire way with several hairpin curves,  speed limit of only 40k/hr and really thrilling sky high bridges and cliffside narrow roads.

The apartment we rented for 2 weeks in the picturesque historical town of Zadar, was just the space we needed.  It was well located, had been recently renovated and was reasonably priced. Zadar is a pedestrian friendly city.  Automobiles are prohibited from most of the town, except in the morning hours for deliveries. Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited city on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, and is known for the Roman and Venetian ruins of its peninsular Old Town. There are also several Venetian gates in the city walls. Surrounding the Roman-era Forum is 11th-century St. Mary’s Convent, with religious art dating to the 8th century. There’s also the grand, 12th-century St. Anastasia’s Cathedral and the round, 9th-century pre-Romanesque Church of St. Donatus that we could see out of our apartment window.  The city proper covers an area of less than 10 square miles and has a population of about 75,000.


One of the Venetian gates into Zadar, with the winged lion, symbol of St. Mark

After settling in or apartment we found a nearby market for some supplies and checked TripAdvisor for restaurant recommendations.  We found a highly recommended pizza restaurant within 200’ of our apartment, right where the Uber had dropped us earlier!  Tri Bunara Pizzaria (Three Wells) offered a delicious version of our favorite pizza with prosciutto, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes covered in a heap of fresh arugula.  Needless to say, we ate there several times.


Zadar ended up being the perfect place to live like locals. Our favorite past times were:

  • enjoying a leisurely cup of cappuccino at Caffebar Lloyd’s outdoor tables while reading The Tennessean online and people watching;
  • daily walks around the perimeter of the peninsula several times around and noticing something new each day,
  • strolling the narrow streets of the city & peeking in shops and restaurants,
  • DSCN4575

    There’s something interesting around every corner and thru each alley way

  • daily naps,
  • finding several restaurants, especially Restaurant Bruschetta, where we had amazing dinners,
  • playing backgammon at the sea-side of the UNESCO World Heritage Roman Ruins,
  • watching the sunsets (Alfred Hitchcock claimed the sunset visible from the Restaurant Tramonto on the seaside promenade to be the most beautiful sunset in the world),
  • IMG_8515

    Beautiful Sunsets!

  • nightly visits to the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun,
  • shopping at the fresh market for daily fruits and snacks,
  • our day tip to the beautiful little town of Nin,
  • #Croatia

    David at The Church of the Holy Cross, built in the 9th century BC . Nin is the oldest Croatian royal town, the cradle of the Croatian State and is famous for it’s beautiful beaches and healing mudbaths.

  • wandering thru the Roman ruins and climbing the 180 stairs to the top of the bell tower at the Church of Saint Donatus which was built in the 9th century,
  • and watching a couple of wedding processions thru the town, with the whole entourage singing in joy.

Roman ruins and bell tower of St. Donatus Church

Most inhabitants of this small city appeared fashion conscious as well.  It amazed me to watch the women in their beautiful high heels navigating the cobblestone and marble streets. If they weren’t dressed in current fashionable trends, they were wearing Addidas track suits…  It was very curious to see so many men, women and children dressed in them.


We were such regulars at the Restaurant Bruschetta, that we became friends with one of the servers, Ivan.  Ivan asked if he could prepare a surprise special feast for us on our last night and we of course said yes. When we arrived, we were served drinks and appetizers, then salad, then an amazing dish that was a tradition in his family and always prepared by his grandmother for special occasions… It was a large Scorpion fish in a stew of fresh vegetables and broth.  David and I looked at each other and burst out laughing because the dish was HUGE!  We looked at Ivan and exclaimed there would be no way we could eat it all, but it was so delicious, we did.  And, of course, there was desert, after dinner drinks and coffee after that.  Oh My!  It was a quite a send off from Zadar Croatia.


So many delicious dinners of fresh seafood!

We spent a couple days in Zagreb before flying back home.  Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and feels like a big city, with a population of about 800,000.  It too has a charming hill top Old Town accessible by walking or a taking the funicular.  We stayed at Hotel Dubrovnik which we had visited 4 years ago, as it was so conveniently located in the middle of the city.  We enjoyed revisiting the Old Town and just wandering. On our last night in Croatia we dined at a most interesting restaurant in a basement cave ~ Laterna na Dolcu .


Funicular from Zagreb’s city center to the hilltop “Old Town”

We stayed at Hotel Dubrovnik, which we had visited 4 years ago, as it was so conveniently located in the middle of the city.  We enjoyed revisiting the Old Town and just wandering. On our last night in Croatia we dined at a most interesting restaurant in a basement cave ~ Laterna na Dolcu .

We arrived back in the U.S., we were able to skip the long lines in customs and proceed to a Global Entry kiosk to scan our passports since we had gotten the Global Entry approval in 2019…. However, we almost missed our connecting flight because I had foolishly purchased a bottle of Zadar’s famous cherry brandy  in the duty free shop of the Zagreb airport and didn’t pack it in my suitcase to be checked.  I will never, ever purchase anything liquid in a duty free shop again

We are now researching our next locations for “living like locals.” . So, stay tuned.  Who knows where these Peripatetic Hedonists will head to next!

Kipp on Traveling!



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Happy New Year 2017

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Happy New Year 2016

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Happy New Year 2015

It seems like we just sent our last annual Holiday letter, but alas it’s that time again (tempus fugit).  Hopefully you and yours had a great year like us.

2014 was busy for us.  The Nashville Real Estate market remained hot all year.  As it turned out, it has been a great time to integrate Jon & Christy into our team.  We also bought another house in Donelson to rehabilitate and rent.

We didn’t travel at our normal pace this year.  We went to FL for a 3 day getaway in February.  We attended 2 weddings.  One in Dallas, one in Memphis, where we got a chance to visit vintage friends, watch the formation of the next generation,  and relax a little.  We stayed a few extra days in Dallas to look around.  We both both wanted to see Dealy Plaza (site of JFK assassination). It was a little eerie sitting there on the “grassy knoll” where Zapruder was standing as he filmed the tragedy.

We did take a couple of weeks in the fall to visit the Pacific Northwest coast, Mt. Rainier National Park and the Willamette Valley.  Both Oregon and Washington State are beautiful and pristine.  We hiked quite a bit, which was the swan song for my left knee.

We had no major health issues this year.  Our parents are fine.  Sharon opted out of a foot surgery and I opted in to a knee replacement (1/6/15). Christy is still in remission and I was permanently released by my oncologist.  I’ve been lucky….it feels good to be on the big end of the stick.

Our daughter, Megan, went to Sri Lanka for May & June to further her study of Yoga.  In the fall she opened a studio and moved her residence to the Vanderbilt/West End area of downtown Nashville.   She also taught an international yoga workshop in Nicaragua that Sharon attended for a week.

Everything is good with Jon and his family.  Jon ran a half marathon.  Christy serves on several Boards, including the PTO at the twins’ school.  Jonathon & Sharon did the Color Run together. The twins started kindergarten; Jonathon started High School!  He can get his “learners permit” to drive in August, 2015.  WOW!

Sharon has remained active in the community serving on several boards and becoming more active with her involvement with GreenwaysforNashville.  She appeared on the front page of the Real Estate Section of the Nashville Tennessean for her expertise in local vacation rental homes, and led her team in their 7th annual breast cancer walk.

Now, it’s your turn.  Give us a call or email and let us know how you’re doing.  Until, then.. We wish you and yours a Prosperous and Happy New Year!


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Good Tidings & Holiday Greetings

 December 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, Sharon and I would like to share with you our highlights and sorrows of the past year.

The first half of the year was nothing special.  We visited our daughter, Megan, in Philadelphia and vacationed in Florida a little.  The twins (age 5 now) played soccer and Jonathon played basketball in a league.  The Real Estate market was healthy, and all of us teamkippers (David, Sharon, Christy & Jon) stayed busy.

Concurrently, several close friends OUR AGE or younger experienced serious health problems such as stroke, heart attack, cancer (been there) and organ failure.  Frankly, it was as if a dark cloud hung over most of the year. We attended a record number of funerals.  Sharon lost a favorite Aunt.  Fortunately, Sharon and I both feel good and are living sustainable lifestyles.  She lost 20 lbs this year without dieting.  I lost 10.  Jon has reached his “desert storm” weight.  Megan’s whole focus is fitness and health.

The second half of the year was more exciting.  We spent time with the grandchildren at the pool and on the boat. Jonathon became a teenager. The twins started pre-kindergarten.  Sharon and I celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary with a new adventure.  We took a cruise on the North and Baltic Seas from London to St. Petersburg, Russia, stoping briefly in 10 countries on the way.  We stayed several days in St. Petersburg, which was probably the highlight of the trip, but we both found Riga, the capital of Latvia, very cool also.  The whole city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, preserved for its Art Nouveau Architecture.

In the fall, Megan moved back to Nashville.  We rehabbed a house in Donelson where she could live and have a Yoga / Massage Studio ( .   This was a real “deja vu”, having also done this when she returned from Spain in 2009.  It kept us extra busy for several months, but now we’re done and feel like we really accomplished something.

Some friends joined us in October for our annual mountain/cabin adventure.  We always look forward to this autumn get away to relax, enjoy nature and friends.

Sharon took on more community service this year, adding The Neighborhood & Community Engagement Committee, as founding Chairperson, and was appointed to the newly formed Retrofitting Suburbia Task Force (a joint effort between GNAR, Metro Planning Commission, University of TN & GA Institute of Technology).

As always, we remain thankful for your friendship and continued support.  For next year, we wish all of you good health, prosperity, and plenty of leisure time to enjoy life.  Please keep in touch. ~ A Family Tradition in Real Estate

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Happy New Year 2013 From Team Kipp!

Let me first mention that soon there will be four Team Kipper’s! During 2012 our daughter-in-law, Christy, returned to the team and our son, Jon (and Christy’s husband) will join us full time this month.

2012 will get high marks in all major categories. Health, Career and Leisure….

I hit a milestone, having survived ten years since the stem cell transplant. Christy celebrated one year cancer free, an outcome hard to envision at the time of her initial diagnosis. She has also been given a second chance. We said good-bye to a few relatives and friends in 2012… As we get older, we seem to experience more of those good-byes.

My Mom celebrated her 90th birthday. Sharon and I hosted her party at our home. She “Skyped” with her twin sister in MIchigan from the party. She may not remember much of it, but we will.

In April we went to Peru. Machu Picchu was the target destination, a place Sharon had wanted to visit for forty years. We visited Cusco, Lima, the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca as well. It was quite a surprise. Peru is very diverse. The largest minority group there are the Chinese who came there to work in the mines. Restaurants called “Chifas” serve dishes that fuse native Peruvian and Chinese cuisine. Women wear bolder hats like those worn by Charlie Chaplin. Men do the knitting. At Puno, on the shore of Lake Titicaca, we had wild, vivid dreams at night from lack of oxygen (altitude 12,400 ft.). We love adventure.

In the summer we went to Florida for a few days to explore a part of the panhandle we had never visited. In the fall, now a tradition, we returned to the Cumberland mountains. Some of our extended family and friends joined us for our mountain weekend. We have posted a few photo highlights from 2012, in the right column of this blog, which we hope you will enjoy.

Megan was asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding to take place in Southern France in May. She saved her money and extended the trip to visit friends there, and in The Netherlands, Germany and Spain. From school here and in Italy, Spain and India, she has built a world wide network of friends offering free lodgings!

This year, our business was great. Nashville’s Real Estate market is vibrant with new development everywhere. Our son, Jon, completed the transition from his old job to Real Estate Affiliate Broker, and has already been doing some marketing for us. We’re expecting his technological knowledge and marketing background to contribute immediately to Team Kipp.

Sharon and I bought another distressed property and rehabilitated it. In times past, we did much of the work ourselves, but this time we decided to hire a contractor to do all the work. We learned a lot from this experience and we’re sharing the knowledge with our investor clients. We leased it quickly.. the rental market is very strong. This purchase was part of an overall retirement strategy… but we’re not ready to do that just yet, and may never want to. So don’t worry. We’re still around to handle your Real Estate needs.

My second term as commissioner on the Metro Nashville Property Standards Board expired. Shortly thereafter I was elected to our neighborhood Homeowners Association. Sharon organized her sixth annual team in the Susan Komen Race for the Cure; co-chaired the local American Cancer Society Relay for Life; became involved in the Nashville Greenways organization; and was re-elected to the Board of Directors for our local Chamber of Commerce. She was recognized and honored for her years of community service at the 2012 Star Spangled Salute. She also made a television commercial for the Volunteers of America ( I think it is still running.

Our three grandsons are getting to be more and more fun. Jonathon is now twelve and is a wonderful big brother to the four year old twins, Jackson and Joshua. The twins are very different in mood and interests. Jackson can name the make of most cars on the street… no one really taught him (the power of advertising?) Joshua is musical.

Several people told us that their Christmas cards to us were returned this year. We did move four years ago. Let us know if you need our home address and please let us know if any of your contact information has changed.

In closing, we hope you will try to stay in touch with us in 2013. Until then,

Happy New Year

David & Sharon Kipp

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Happy New Year From The Kipps

2011 turned out to be a pretty good year for us, and a vast improvement over 2010.  The best thing that happened was our daughter-in-law, Christy’s, recovery from colon cancer. Originally diagnosed as colon cancer, stage IV, in the spring of 2010, after 2 surgeries and 12 chemotherapy treatments, she is in complete remission.  In January she will return to TeamKipp to broker real estate with Sharon and I.

Another big event was helping my mom transition to assisted living. We moved her from the home where she had been for 51 years. It went smoothly with lots of help from my sisters and Sharon.  We have the house for sale.  It’s not sadness, but there is a melancholy feeling to this process.  I guess it’s the realization that we, too, are approaching the autumn years of our lives.

Christy’s Cancer, and my mom’s move kept us from going on a big trip this year.  We went to Philadelphia twice to visit Megan.  After returning from India in January with her Yoga Teacher Credentials, she graduated with honors from Massage Therapy School in June. Sharon and I went to the commencement ceremony as proud parents.  We went another time just to look around and see the sites.  For a big city, it’s nice.  There are many historic sites…which I enjoy, and lots of ethnic neighborhoods with good street side markets and food…which we all like!

In the fall, Sharon sponsored a team that walked in the Susan Komen Race for the Cure.  Her team made boob hats to wear during the walk; drawing lots of attention to a good cause, and made a generous donation in the process.

Jon, Christy, and their 3 sons joined us at Pickett State Park in October. Our dinner club friends came, too. We had a wonderful long weekend hiking, canoeing, cooking, and exploring. Our campfire was probably visible from the moon. We’re already booked for the same weekend next year, and have added a few new invitees.

In December, Sharon was named “Business Woman of the Year” by the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce.  This is her second time to win the award.  She also won it in 1994.  We are all proud of her.  She also turned 60 this year. To celebrate, she wanted to go on a big adventure so we’re going to Peru in the spring. In addition to the enigmatic Machu Picchu, other stops include Lima, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, and the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba River.

Our Real Estate business experienced an up tic in 2011. That was refreshing.  After the sudden downturn in 2007 many people went to the sidelines hoping things would bounce back just as quickly.  Everybody knows now that didn’t happen…so it seems like everyone has decided to get on with their plans. Please call us if we can help you or your friends buy or sell a house in 2012.

In closing, I’d ask you to keep in touch with us in 2012.  Also please let us know if your email address or phone number has changed.  We’re easily reachable:

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Until next year, please keep yourself fit, and we’ll see you in 2012!


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2010 Holiday Greetings from The Kipps!

What a roller coaster year! Lots of good things happened, but some bad stuff, too.

Jan: With the economy on life support, Sharon and I decided to take a vacation (how could we lose business by being away, when there wasn’t much business going on to lose?).

Feb: We chose to go to Thailand and Cambodia, with the ultimate destination being the temple complex at Angkor Wat, deep in the northern jungle of Cambodia. The trip was surreal, exotic, and tropical, yet we returned exhausted from the flights and the passage thru 13 time zones. Did I mention it was hot?

While we were away, our friend, Vance, age 51, died of undiagnosed cancer. Sharon and I first met at Vance’s birthday party in 1982. Christy, our Daughter-in-Law and TEAMKIPP member, was hospitalized for 5 days with serious symptoms. They released her in stable condition, but without a diagnosis. “Maybe it’s diverticulitis?” Yeah — right.

Mar: Business picked up quite a bit in the spring with first time buyers jumping into the market to get the tax credits from the stimulus package. Christy stayed sick all spring, seeking a diagnosis. Sharon, Megan, Christy’s Mom and Sharon’s Mom really helped out at home with Jonathon and the twins. Sharon and I covered her business.

Apr: After returning from Thailand, Sharon and I decided to put more emphasis on exercise in our daily lives. We started training and both walked the Music City Marathon on April 24th, doing half, or, 13.1 miles. We have both lost 15+ pounds and we both look and feel better. Sharon got sponsors and ended up raising over $2,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It was a little comical.. At mile 9 it started sprinkling. By mile 10, it was pouring with lightening and thunder, and by mile 11, police were telling participants that if they continue, they were doing so “at their own risk.” We finished.. soaking wet… in 3 hours and 24 minutes, then took a cab back to our car!

After the race, Sharon was so exhilarated that she walked another 1/2 marathon in Sept, and several 5K’s including her 5th Susan Komen Race for the Cure. Her team had the best costumes!!! Boob Heads!!!

Christy got worse. She was re-admitted to the hospital where she was diagnosed with colon cancer, stage IV.   We are all rallying around her and she’s tough.

May: Nashville flooded.. the same day Christy came home from the hospital. Our family had little loss, but lots of our friends were hit pretty hard. Nashville is still recovering.

Jul: Jon bought a new pontoon boat and gave me a key! All summer we spent lots of time on the boat and at the pool. I taught Jonathon how to dive and the twins loved the baby pool and the lake. I found out my left foot was broken, probably since Thailand.

Aug: Jonathon turned 10. He started middle school this fall. He continues golf lessons and basketball, although video games are his favorite activity.

Oct: During the year, both of our children, Jon and Megan, became disillusioned with their jobs. Jon restructured his so he could work from home, where he is needed to help care for Christy and the kids. Megan quit and moved to Philadelphia, where her boyfriend, Matt lives. She’s now in Goa, India, where she is studying to become a Yoga Master.

The twins turned 2….any questions?

We visited Memphis for a weekend of wedding festivities, and Cloudland Canyon State park in North GA for a couple of days of cabin and mountains. Our niece, Amye, and cousin Rebecca drove up from Alabama for their first “girls trip” to Nashville.

Nov: We had our traditional family Thanksgiving feast and enjoyed a visit from Sharon’s Dad and nephew.

Dec: We look forward to hearing about your 2010. Keep in touch and buy some houses from us! Sharon and I hope to buy at least 1 more in 2011.

In an effort to put this year in perspective, we’ve realized how well things have gone for us in life.  Oddly enough, it’s adversity that reminds us how little control we have over all the things that we value.  Christy’s diagnosis was a wake-up call, just like it was when we found out I had cancer 12 years ago.  It reminds us once again to be thankful for the millions of things that have accidentally gone right.

We’re ready to bid farewell to 2010.  Look out 2011….. HERE WE COME!

David & Sharon Kipp

keep up with us during the year:

Photos of Thailand, Cambodia & Grandchildren                            @…/sharonkipp/100238

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Happy New Year 2010

Compared to most years, 2009 was a quiet year for us.  We didn’t travel as much as us usual.  Instead, we spent time settling into our new home (since 08/02/08) and surroundings.  We bought some furniture, installed a grill, planted flowers, shrubs, trimmed trees, and generally put our stamp on the place.

Sharon went to Alabama for a few days in April to throw an 80th birthday party for her Dad, which was a huge success.  Jon and family, Megan and I went for the big day also.

We visited Seattle and British Columbia in May to see the stunning Butchart Gardens and to stay at the famous Fairmont Empress Hotel on Victoria Island.

The “Relay For Life” (annual cancer fundraiser) was in June.  I helped again this  year.   Later that month we went to Roan Mountain, Tennessee, to see the worlds largest Rhododendron garden and festival.  We missed the peak of the blossoms, but not by much.  The Roan Mountain State Park has cool rustic cabins and is fairly near Jamestown, Tennessee’s oldest city.  It was our first time to see both.

Spending time at the neighborhood pool and with our grandchildren took up most of our spare time this summer.  Jonathon turned 9 in August and Jackson & Joshua were 1 in October.

The Cash for Clunkers deal was too good to pass up, so Sharon bought a Nissan Versa hatchback.  It’s the first NEW car we’ve purchased since we’ve been married!

Thankfully, we can say that both Sharon’s parents and my Mom are still healthy and active.  They each came here for Thanksgiving under their own steam.  You would never guess their ages:)

Sharon again sponsored a team in the Susan Komen Race for the Cure this fall.  She also helped a little with Second Harvest Food Bank and we both helped build a Habitat house.  I was re-confirmed as Commissioner of the Property Standards Board in front of the Metro Council.  Sharon also added 2 Real Estate designations to her list this year…. GREEN REALTOR® and SFR (Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource).  And, at you will now find links to foreclosure and short sale properties.

There have been some great real estate deals out there this year.  Jon & Christy bought 2 more rental properties.   My Mom sold her last rental house.   Megan is house shopping now, hoping to buy before April to get the $8,000 first time homebuyers tax credit.

We wish you a happy 2010.  Please call or send an email if you want to catch us up on what you and your family are doing.  We’d love to hear from you.  Also…. please all or email us if you have a friend or relative we could help with their real estate needs.
To keep up with us, you can always read our blog and see our latest photos at or check out our websites at and or follow us at  So, until we meet again,

Best Wishes from the Kipps

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